Pit Barrel Cooker

Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) Review


PBC is a cooking system that is taking the grilling and smoking industry by storm! Because of its shape and cooking method, it never fails to deliver delicious feasts everyone will love. Its design allows for a more consistent heat by hanging the food over the flame instead of on a grill, creating uniform cooking without burning.

Key  Features:

  • Easy, set it and forget it cooking
  • Delivers incredible flavors
  • Highly durable and portable
  • Versatile cooking with smoking, baking, roasting, and grilling capabilities





Ease of Use


The Guarantee

Pit Barrel® guarantees perfectly cooked food every time, whether you are new to outdoor cooking or an expert trying to perfect your craft.

The Science

One of the best features of the Pit Barrel Cooker is its easy-to-use design.

Unlike conventional grills that cook food from a single, direct heat source, the Pit Barrel® and Hook'n HangTM method's cylindrical shape positions the food at the center of the action, heating the meat at once from all sides. The 360 All-Round Heat DynamicsTM is the secret behind always delivering good-tasting, perfectly cooked food.

Cook Like a pro, eat like a pro

It’s simple to operate and produces consistent and impressive results!

Vertical cooking allows for more room in the smoker and helps baste the meat with its own juices. Drippings produce a "smoke fog" from the coals below that negates a water pan's need. Hanging the meat also prevents any risk of grilling-induced hot conduction points.

Cook more, spend less

The posted capacity of a PBC is 240  sq inches for the included grill grate, but the capacity for hanging meats is dramatically higher.

The Pit Barrel® has an unmatched capacity, which allows for more than double that of regular horizontal cookers at a fraction of the cost! It's rated the best smoker for under $500 by many reviewers and industry professionals.

Pit Barrel Cooker

Check the latest PBC prices here!

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hook-n-hang, cooking method

You'll put one or two of the stainless steel hooks through the meat and hang it from a length of rebar mounted just below the tight fitting lid.

Deep smokehouse flavors are also developed by dripping juices falling on the hot coals. When the smoke fog that fills the barrel envelops the meat, it's infusing it with an even more natural flavor. This is where the magic of the PBC happens.

portability lets your PBC and go

It is simple to use, portable and built to last!

If you can’t take it with you… it’s not a Pit Barrel®. They know smoked meat and BBQ connoisseurs have mobile interests. That's exactly why they've built the Pit Barrel® to be light and compact enough to fit in the back of most vans, trucks and SUVs for easy transport to the campsite, family reunion, or football game.  

not only a smoker, versatile cooker too

You can cook almost anything on a PBC!

Not all meats are created equal– and not all foods are meats! Every Pit Barrel® comes with a steel grill grate, not just so it can double as a traditional grill, but to take advantage of the Pit Barrel® added depth and temperature control. Want to sear a steak? Cook without the lid to turn up the heat. Add the custom GrillGrate for perfect sear-marks. Or leave it on and let the smoke add another layer of depth to burgers, fish, pizza, or even cookies!

What it comes with

Pit Barrel Cooker

Pit Barrel Cooker 

30 Gallon Steel Drum with Lid

8 Stainless steel hooks

Pit Barrel Cooker Jr

Pit Barrel Cooker Jr.
16 Gallon Steel Drum with Lid
4 Stainless steel hooks

Additionally, both PBC's come with 2 steel hanging rods, a charcoal basket, a regular grill grate, a wooden hook remover, a three-point barrel stand, and even some extras (spice rubs) to get started out of the box.

Safety + Durability 

The Pit Barrel Cooker is super durable, made with a powder coated porcelain enamel exterior much like other grills we’ve reviewed that are made to stand up to the elements. 

  • Tip: The lid can get hot while in use.  Be sure to use a glove or oven mitt. 
  • Tip: Keep your PBC covered to protect it from the elements and it will last a lifetime.
  • Tip: If you're going to transport your PBC often keep the lid on tight with a bungee or store it in the box it came in. 


The easy-to-use interface is one of the best features of the Pit Barrel Cooker. For any type of meat, the PBC recipe calls for the same exact setup of charcoal each time. However, it is necessary to carefully and accurately follow the simple instructions, as consistent use will each time result in perfect cooking.

The Pit Barrel Cooker heats up quickly to 500 degrees Fahrenheit easily. The temperature should drop by about 300 after about half an hour and then slowly settle to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit where it will remain for several hours. To increase the temperature, you can adjust the dampner at the PBC's bottom and crack the lid. Also, keep in mind you'll need to take elevation into account to get the proper airflow

Depending on the type of meat you're cooking, the instructions are basic but very precise. As long as instructions are followed, the results will be so excellent that you will be left wondering who perfectly cooked your feast inside in the drum.


The PBC is actually a ton of fun to cook on! Following the directions and watching a few of the instructional videos are key to enjoying those first few smokes without any issues.

My first cook was two full chickens cut in half and hung. I seasoned one with the included PBC General Purpose Rub and one with just some salt and pepper. I cooked them to temperature for about three hours and won't lie. They were the juiciest chickens I've ever cooked with nearly zero effort involved!! The smokey flavor was amazing for such a simple cook!

One of the key factors about the PBC that really appeals to me is its portability. I like to take my smoker to the campground, picnic, or tailgate party, and the PBC travels pretty nicely. It's also a great conversation piece once you get it fired up!

First Cook PBC Jr.

First Smoke on PBC!

Final Verdict

The Pit Barrel Cooker is a perfect choice for any first-time smoker or addition for a seasoned pitmaster. The price, ease of use, consistency of cook, and portability make this a versatile cooking solution. The fact that the PBC is delivered ready-to-go to your door is a true boon for the newcomer. In no time at all, the Pit Barrel Cooker will have you feeling like a BBQ master at home or on the go.


  • Solid build with easy use and setup!
  • Great for those new to smoking or seasoned pitmasters
  • Highly versatile cooking solution
  • Unique cooking style allows incredible flavors with ease.
  • Customer service is outstanding
  • Portable


  • Precise temperature control can be difficult
  • Lid handle gets hot
  • Accessories can quickly increase cost

PBC Standard Logo

as of October 10, 2021 8:55 pm

Best selling 18.5" drum cooker in the world featuring 360º All-Round Heat Dynamics™ made of 18 gauge steel with a porcelain enamel coating for maximum durability. Just hang it

PBJ Standard Logo

as of October 10, 2021 8:55 pm

14.5" drum cooker made for maximum portability featuring 360º All-Round Heat Dynamics™ made of 18 gauge steel with a porcelain enamel coating for maximum durability. Just hang it

PBC Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness & Advocacy

The Pit Barrel Cooking Co. is a veteran-owned and family-run business based in LOUISVILLE, KY that was started in 2010.  Founder Noah Glanville served as a Navy Corpsman attached to a Marine Corps unit in Iraq and always had fond memories of family BBQ's back home.   

As a security contractor overseas he turned to cooking barbecue as a way to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He soon found that both his combat experience and lessons learned from dealing with PTSD could help him become a successful entrepreneur and The Pit Barrel Cooking Co.

"PTSD is something a lot of guys don't want to talk about," he said. "I got frustrated and angry easily. I was in a hole. My family and my business helped me focus my energy into something positive, and that made all the difference." -  Noah Glanville

The Pit Barrel Cooker Nation in Action

Cooking Videos

Spatchcock Turkey on the Pit Barrel Cooker #bbq #grilling

Here is a recipe that guarantees you will get a delicious Smoked

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